Polychlorinated Biphenyl [PCB] Spills

Major Spills

Minor Spills

Fire

Major Spills

These procedures are to be followed if:

  • the spill is large [e.g. > 1 litre of liquid or 1 kg of solid PCB-contaminated material]
  • the concentration of the PCBs is > 5000 ppm
  • Any PCB material has spilled outside [into the “natural environment”]
  • the hazard from a spill exceeds the capabilities for cleanup in the work area
  • any doubts exist about the proper procedures.
  1. Evacuate the immediate area.
  2. Immediately contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety at 416.978.7000. After hours call the University Police at 416.978.2222.
  3. State the location, extent of the spill and that the spill involves PCBs.
  4. Await the arrival of the response team in a safe area.
  5. Attend to any persons who may have been contaminated.
  6. Do not allow unauthorized personnel to enter the contaminated area.

Localized Minor Spills

These procedures are to be followed if the spill is small [e.g. < 1 litre of liquid or 1 kg of solid PCB-contaminated material].

Solid Spills Indoors
(No outdoor contamination)

Procedures

  • Confine the spill to a small area; do not allow the material to spread.
  • Shovel or scoop material into steel drum or other suitable container.
  • Wipe contaminated area with varsol.
  • Vent area to prevent accumulation of vapours.

Personal Protective Equipment

Respiratory/Eye Protection

  • Chemical splash goggles

Skin Protection

  • Neoprene gloves
  • Disposable coveralls
  • Rubber boots

All contaminated materials including clothing, gloves, to be treated as PCB waste [per O. Reg. 362]
Contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety for disposal of materials.

Post-Spill Monitoring

Contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety at 416.978.7000 to arrange for lab analysis of cleanup. Assistance in cleanups also provided.

Liquid Spills Indoors
(No outdoor contamination)

Procedures

  • Confine the spill to a small area; do not allow the material to spread.
  • Absorb liquid with vermiculite, sand or other inert absorbent.
  • Shovel or scoop material into steel drum or other suitable container.
  • Wipe contaminated area with varsol.
  • Vent area to prevent accumulation of vapours.

Personal Protective Equipment

Respiratory/Eye Protection

  • Chemical splash goggles
  • Respirator with organic cartridges

Skin Protection

  • Neoprene gloves
  • Disposable coveralls
  • Rubber boots

All contaminated materials including clothing, gloves, to be treated as PCB waste [per O. Reg. 362].
Contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety AT 416.978.7000 for disposal of materials.

Post-Spill Monitoring

Contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety at 416.978.7000 to arrange for lab analysis of cleanup. Assistance in cleanups also provided.

Spills Outdoors
(Environmental contamination)

Immediate Action

  • Confined spill to a small area; do not allow the material to spread.
  • Notify Office of Environmental Health & Safety at 416.978.7000.

Procedures

  • Immediately notify the Office of Environmental Health & Safety

The Environmental Protection Act (EPA) [Part X, section 92], imposes specific duties on anyone causing a spill or having control of a spilled pollutant into the natural environment. Specific duties exist including a reporting requirement to the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy.

Departments should not normally take it upon themselves to notify the Ministry of Environment and Energy. University procedures exist regarding spills into the environment and the University’s and departmental reporting requirements. Reporting will be done by the Manager, Hazardous Waste or designate in the Office of Environmental Health & Safety 416.978.7000 or the Campus Police according to the established campus emergency procedures.

Personal Protective Equipment

Respiratory/Eye Protection

  • Chemical splash goggles

Skin Protection

  • Neoprene gloves
  • Disposable coveralls
  • Rubber boots

All contaminated materials including clothing, gloves, to be treated as PCB waste [per O. Reg. 362].
Contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety for disposal of materials.

Post-Spill Monitoring

Contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety at 416.978.7000 to arrange for lab anaylsis of cleanup. Assistance in cleanups also provided.


Fires Involving PCBs

 Immediate Action

  • Activate nearest pull station.
  • Notify University Police 416.978.2222 and inform them that the fire involves PCB-contaminated materials.
  • Evacuate immediate area.
  • Notify Office of Environmental Health & Safety at 416.978.7000.

All contaminated materials including clothing, gloves, to be treated as PCB waste [per O. Reg. 362].
Contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety for disposal of materials.

Post-Spill Monitoring

Contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety at 416.978.7000 to arrange for lab analysis of cleanup. Assistance in cleanups also provided.